Sunday, May 16, 2010

NYT Monday 5/17/10 - Adieux

Ah, how nice to get back to a good old Across Lite file with this Monday New York Times crossword. The cluing spelled out the "parting words" theme, so there wasn't really much of a penny to drop today. I do like the wide range of allusions: popular music, bygone TV, movies, musicals and contemporary TV. Plus the number of theme squares is an impressive 57 (just over 30% of the letters).

The theme had one gnarly area for those with only a vague or aural knowledge of vintage TV: the Lone Ranger's catchphrase is hi-yo Silver, not hi-ho Silver. I started with hi-yo, because y-axis looked right for 24-Down, then I thought "that can't be right" and changed it to hi-ho. But looking at h-axis I knew that h could only be horizontal, if I had the right idea at all, and so it was back to hi-yo.

I thought the non-thematic clues were a little tougher than average today: take {Homer Simpson type} at 11-Down for example: that reference suggested many different character traits and it took a lot of crossings before I twigged to screw-up. I don't expect to run across many clues like this on a Monday, but today it seemed there were a half-dozen times at least where I stalled for want of crossings. Hence this wasn't one of my better solving times for the day.
Solving time: 5 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 32a orb {Heavenly body}
Solution

Jay Kaskel
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Famous words of parting:
17a Bye Bye Love {Parting words from the Everly Brothers}
23a hi-yo Silver, away! {Parting words from the Lone Ranger}
34a I'll be back {Parting words from the Terminator}
49a so long, farewell {Parting words from the von Trapps}
57a you're fired {Parting words from Donald Trump}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersJay Kaskel / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 40 (17.8%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 4.87)
Theme squares57 (30.8%)
Scrabble points298 (average 1.61)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



17a Bye Bye Love {Parting words from the Everly Brothers}. Bye Bye Love is a popular song written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and published in 1957. It is best known in a debut recording by The Everly Brothers, issued by Cadence Records as catalog number 1315. The song reached #2 on the US Billboard Pop charts and #1 on the Cash Box Best Selling Record charts. Ray Charles included his version of the song on his 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. The song is ranked #207 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Above looks to be one of the first TV performances for The Everly Brothers, when Don was 20 and Phil was 18.

The Doctor is IN

30a -ule {Diminutive suffix}. As in ductule, a small duct.

1d AABA {Four-line rhyme scheme}. As in the ruba'i rhyme scheme used by Robert Frost in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

59d fam. {Clan: Abbr.}. fam. = family.

Images of the Day

UK Dennis the Menace

US Dennis the Menace

65a pest {Dennis the Menace, for one}. I think of Dennis the Menace as a British comic strip character (upper picture) unlikely to travel well, so it surprised me to see mention of him in a Monday puzzle in the New York Times. Seemingly by coincidence, an American comic strip with the same name started in the same month of the same year ... March 1951. Hard to believe! The American Dennis the Menace (lower picture) is a daily syndicated newspaper comic strip originally created, written and illustrated by Hank Ketcham. It debuted on March 12, 1951 in 16 newspapers and was originally distributed by Post-Hall Syndicate. It is now written and drawn by Ketcham's former assistants, Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand, and distributed to at least 1,000 newspapers in 48 countries and 19 languages by King Features Syndicate. The comic strip usually runs for a single panel on weekdays and a full strip on Sundays.

Other Clues

1a appts. {Listings in a dr.'s calendar}; 6a nine {Number of Muses}; 10a ests. {Best guesses: Abbr.}; 14a a soul {Nary ___ (no one)}; 15a Enos {Grandson of Adam}; 16a NCAA {March Madness org.}; 19a orgy {Unrestrained revelry}; 20a act {"Clean up your ___!"}; 21a Ali {"___ Baba and the 40 Thieves"}; 22a bless {"___ me, Father" (confessional phrase)}; 28a écarté {Card game for two}; 29a ELO {"Telephone Line" rock grp.}; 31a Saxe {___-Coburg-Gotha, former British royal house}; 32a orb {Heavenly body}; 33a apes {Gorillas}; 38a MBAs {Degs. for corporate types}; 41a Aer {___ Lingus}; 42a hips {Hula dancers wiggle them}; 45a ell {Building wing}; 46a -ine {Suffix with labyrinth}; 47a are too! {Reply to "Am not!"}; 52a ha-has {Laughs}; 53a ban {Forbid}; 54a avg. {Bowling stat.}; 56a Utes {Western Indian tribe}; 61a Geri {Halliwell of the Spice Girls}; 62a Alta {Claudia ___ Taylor (Lady Bird Johnson)}; 63a Akira {Director Kurosawa}; 64a ades {Fruity drinks}; 66a messy {Not tidy}.

2d psyches {Human spirits}; 3d Poetica {Horace's "Ars ___"}; 4d tub {Bath site}; 5d sly {Foxy}; 6d Nellie {Nervous ___}; 7d in oil {How French fries are fried}; 8d Nov. {Oct. follower}; 9d -ese {Language suffix}; 10d Enola {W.W. II bomber ___ Gay}; 11d screw-up {Homer Simpson type}; 12d tag sale {Common house event before moving}; 13d says yes {Agrees}; 18d east {Sunrise direction}; 22d bro {Pal}; 24d y-axis {Vertical line on a graph}; 25d Orel {Hershiser on the mound}; 26d verb {Subject follower}; 27d Elba {Isle of exile}; 32d o'er {"___ the ramparts ..."}; 33d a kite {"Go fly ___!"}; 35d Lang {Fritz who directed "Metropolis"}; 36d beef {Hamburger meat}; 37d chew {"___ your food" (mother's admonition)}; 38d meshuga {Yiddish for "crazy"}; 39d bloated {Like a stomach after an all-you-can-eat buffet}; 40d all here {Fully focused and attentive}; 43d Polaris {North Star}; 44d solvers {Crossword doers}; 46d ins {___ and outs}; 47d Ararat {Mount where Noah landed}; 48d René {Artist Magritte}; 50d oasis {Place for camels to water}; 51d abuts {Touches}; 55d g'day {"Hello" Down Under}; 57d yap {Talk noisily}; 58d olé {Bullfight cheer}; 60d Ike {'50s prez}.

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